It’s Not Facebook, It’s You! 5 Ways To Fix Your Facebook Experience


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I joined Facebook because it promised to be an easy way to stay in touch with friends and family while traveling and living abroad. I stayed with Facebook even though many of the prejudices I had turned out to be true. What I learned, however, is that most of the things you do with Facebook, or allow it to do to you, are your choice.

Facebook offers a lot of opportunities and it is up to you to customize your experience. It’s a little like real life. You can do great things, work hard, be a positive example, help others, or you can waste your time; it’s your decision. The difference is that Facebook is much less complex and occasionally comes with great instructions. So what is it that you struggle with on Facebook and how would you like to turn that experience around?

1. Wasting Time

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Because Facebook is so great at what it does – presenting you with the latest information from the people and things you care about – you cannot help but get sucked in and spend hours on reading status updates, peeking through photo albums, watching videos, or playing games. And if you don’t read everything that has been posted to your News Feed since the last time you visited, you feel like you are missing out. This is not a productive use of your time!

Nowhere-Sign

There isn’t an easy way to escape from this time sink. First you need to be determined!

Ask yourself:

  • How much time can you afford to spend on Facebook?
  • What do you really want to use Facebook for?
  • Who do you really want to stay in touch with?

The answers to those questions will reveal what you want Facebook to be for you. Once you have an understanding of what you appreciate about Facebook, observe yourself the next time you use the social network:

  • How much time do you actually spend on Facebook?
  • What are you actually doing on Facebook?
  • Who are you actually interacting with?

Based on your initial idea of what you want Facebook to be and the baseline assessment of what it actually is now, take action!

2. Feeling Bad

Facebook is a reflection of who you are and how you think. When you approach Facebook with the wrong mindset, it can make you sad, anxious, and envious. Approach it with the right mindset, however, and it can leave you happier, inspired, and grateful for having so many awesome people in your life. Which alternative would you prefer?

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recent study revealed that people who are more engaged in Facebook, tend to suffer from higher levels of anxiety. This is hardly surprising. Lonely or introvert people with a less intense social life find it easier to connect using social networks. Yet seeing people having an exciting social life in the real world can be incredibly depressing. But it doesn’t have to be!

It’s tough, but you can be conscious about how you approach Facebook (or life in general) and how it makes you feel. It’s a key part of customizing your Facebook experience. Try these tips:

  • Envious? Imagine how you would feel if you were the other person. Empathize. Then, instead of feeling envious, try to be genuinely happy for them and cheer them on.
  • Anxious? Why? Do you feel like your life is a failure? Do you think you should do better? Don’t be so hard on yourself and stop comparing yourself with others! Rather focus on what is good in your life and work hard to improve whatever is not right, yet. Give yourself some credit along the way and celebrate your achievements. Yes, do post your progress on Facebook and feel your heart jump with joy when your friends encourage you and are happy for you. 🙂
  • Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)? You miss out on 99.999999999% of what is going on in the world right now and you have missed out on almost 100% of what has happened in the past or will happen in the future. Live NOW. Learn to enjoy the moment, decide on your priorities in life, be true to them, and work hard for having great moments.

3. Revealing Too Much

Per default, Facebook shares everything. Whatever you share with Facebook, is shared with the world. And whenever Facebook introduces an update, the default is ‘open to all’. Hence it’s important to regularly review your privacy settings and make sure that privacy relevant information like your birth date, your phone number, or your personal photos are hidden from the general public.

You can easily check what your profile looks like for another person from within Facebook. Go to your Timeline, i.e. facebook.com/your_user_name. You can get there by clicking your own name anywhere on Facebook. In the top right next to Activity Log click the arrowhead to expand the Settings menu and select View As…

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From the top left, select as who you want to see your Timeline and Profile. You can enter a friend’s name or view your profile as the public, i.e. a random stranger would see it.

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If you see something that you don’t want a specific person or the public to see, track down that particular piece of information and update its settings.

4. Sharing Too Much

Some things should remain private! None of your friends want to hear about your every bowel movement, nor do they want to hear you complain all the time, unless you are really having a tough time and need help. In that case, why don’t you just ask for help? This is probably the toughest one, but don’t Like and re-Share too many Facebook posts. It will drive those people nuts whose News Feeds are inundated with your Likes and Shares.

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Remember, if everyone was a little more considerate, we would all waste less time on Facebook.

Fortunately, a recent study shows that around one third of all Facebook posts are self-censored. Another study suggests that self-censorship could be related to not wanting to… cause a huge discussion, offend or hurt someone, or be boring or repetitive. Sounds like a great number of people actually is considerate already!

5. Depending Too Much

Don’t let Facebook rule your life. Make sure you have people’s contacts and birthdates stored outside of Facebook, so you can stay in touch in case you get banned or locked outBack up your photos and other personal memories, so you don’t depend on Facebook to save them for you. Generally, use Facebook like any other tool, don’t depend on it for your (social) life!

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You control your Facebook experience. Make it a good one, but don’t make it an intense one. Facebook is a tool to stay in touch with real people in real life. The goal is to have a real social life outside of Facebook.

How do you use Facebook and how much time do you spend on it each day?

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10 Websites Geeks Of All Stripes Should Bookmark


websites for geeksWe geeks know what we are and revel in our existence as our place in society grows ever stronger. We are geeks, we are proud, and we’re not going anywhere. As the Internet becomes a bigger part of everybody’s lives, we are the ones who they, the non-geeks, will turn to for help and advice. And we will offer that help and advice without hesitation.

There are some fantastic resources on the Web for geeks, of all ages and all kinds. Be it computer geeks who like to mess around with the insides of machines or those more mainstream geeks (as I consider myself) who approach things from a more basic angle but then delve as deep as they need to in order to understand. The following are 10 websites for geeks that you should bookmark.

Lifehacker

websites for geeks

Lifehacker is a website which does exactly what its name suggests – provide life hacks. These are anything which can help solve an everyday problem in a new way, or aid productivity and efficiency. Within those boundaries, content on Lifehacker is diverse, with everything from personal finance to health, from cooking to photography. This is geekdom for those who want to better themselves.

How-To Geek

websites for geeks tech

How-To Geek is completely dedicated to computers and how they work. There is a constant stream of articles related to the topic, as well as forums with sections dedicated to all the major operating systems and specialized topics such as building your own PC. This is geekdom for those who know a little but want to know more.

TechRepublic

websites for geeks tech

TechRepublic is a vast resource with sections dedicated to blogs, downloads, galleries, and discussions, amongst others. Content is also segregated by the field of technology it belongs to; development, IT support, networks, etc.

This isn’t a site for everyone but rather those who already have some kind of connection to the tech sector. This is geekdom for professionals.

Ozzu

websites for geeks tech

Ozzu labels itself simply as ‘Webmaster Forum‘ and that’s a fitting description. This is news, information and resources for developers, programmers, and designers. There are forums for those with a passion for each of these professions, with a considerable amount of crossover included. A marketplace offering job opportunities in this field also features. This is geekdom for webmasters.

Neowin

geek websites

Neowin has tech news, reviews, features, and forums. It was once all about Microsoft and its products, but it has now evolved to cover Mac and Linux amongst other things.

It’s fair to say there is still a pro-Microsoft bias on the site though, which isn’t a bad thing considering all the pro-Apple bias on other sites. This is geekdom for fans of Windows.

Protonic

geek websites

Protonic is a site offering an invaluable service. If you need technical support for your computer, be it hardware- or software-related, then you can get it for free on Protonic.

You simply ask a question and a volunteer will answer it for you, offering assistance completely for free. This is geekdom for those in need.

ITProPortal

geek websites

ITProPortal delivers “24/7 Tech Commentary & Analysis.” This is around-the-clock news with a British bias, with different sections dedicated to different sectors of technology.

What differentiates ITProPortal from so many other sites is the added commentary, with a different spin often put on stories you may have already read elsewhere. This is geekdom for tech news junkies.

Gizmag

Gizmag is the place to spy on invention and innovation. While we all know about the new iPador Windows 8, we don’t always get to hear about the slightly zany, out-there gadgets in development. Which is where Gizmag comes in.

We’re talking flying cars and suction-cup shoes. Things that we may or may not all be using in the years to come but which are already out there now. This is geekdom for those who love gadgets.

Stackoverflow

Stackoverflow is a constantly updating stream of programming-related questions. If you’re the kind of person who likes reading questions about programming and on topics completely incomprehensible to ordinary people then Stackoverflow could be your nirvana.

I’ll be honest and admit I haven’t a clue what most of the questions on Stackoverflow are pertaining to, but James Bruce may well do. This is geekdom for those who are bigger geeks than me.

MakeUseOf

websites for geeks

MakeUseOf is awesome, obviously. If you’re reading this then you already know MakeUseOf is THE place for geeks to hang out. With more than 20 writers, all of whom have different interests and expertise in different fields, MakeUseOf will have something for everyone.

I myself,consider ” makeuseof ” the best!

There are Best Of Apps for a host of platforms, Guides and Cheat Sheets, a vast Directory of websites, and a forum for Questions and Answers. This is geekdom for the masses.

Conclusions

The 10 websites above represent geek heaven. These are where all geeks or would-be geeks should be hanging out on a daily basis. When combined with the 10 websites where cool computer geeks reside you should never be left needing a place to visit on the Web to gain your geek credentials.

As always we want to hear from you. So please let us know your thoughts on geeks, geek culture, and websites for geeks. If there are you visit on a regular basis that you feel should have made the list then link to it in the comments section below.

5 Tech Myths: Cell Phones Don’t Cause Cancer & More


tech mythsMyths are more common than most people will admit. They perpetuate because they sound like they could be true – and nobody has time to fact-check every last detail. Eventually, as the myths are repeated time and time again, they sound more factual than the truth.

Technology is as susceptible to myths as any other niche. The complexity of the subject, combined with the rapid introduction of new, unfamiliar innovations, creates a perfect breeding ground for misunderstanding. Let’s set these tech myths straight.

RAM Usage Is Bad

tech myths

MakeUseOf will occasionally receive a question from a reader that asks about how to reduce RAM usage on a computer, tablet or smartphone. Their alarm is understandable. A user browsing the web in Windows 7 might open their task manager to find over six gigabytes ofRAM used. “Ack!” they think, “no wonder my computer is so slow!”

In truth, this relationship should be flipped on its head. RAM is very, very quick. Mechanical hard drives and some forms of flash storage (like most SD cards) are slow. By storing data that might be needed in RAM, a computer can increase the load speed of frequently accessed software. If RAM is not full of data, it’s effectively doing nothing, so why have it sit empty?

Smartphone users shouldn’t worry for the same reason. Background apps can negatively impact performance on an Android phone, but this usually isn’t because of memory. Instead, the culprit is usually an app that’s running in the background. Clearing memory appears to improve performance only because the offending app is closed to free up space.

Improperly Unmounting A USB Drive Will Delete Data

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Windows has long sounded the alarm about improperly unmounting disk drives. To this day, you may still receive warning messages when you remove a drive that you haven’t properly disabled through the operating system. Given the alarm, you’d think that the consequences of disobeying would be disastrous.

Not true. USB drives can be freely removed from a computer without issue in most situations. I can attest to this personally. As part of my work, I often have to move flash drives from one PC to the next, and I’ve never lost data from a drive because of it.

So why the warning? Microsoft is playing it safe. Data corruption can occur, but only if a USB drive is actively in use at the moment it is unplugged. Most users don’t do this. Still, Microsoft doesn’t want to be on the hook for the 1-in-1000th  time it does occur. And that’s why the alarm is raised even when there’s no fire.

You Don’t Need An Antivirus If You’re Careful

tech myths busted

Whenever I write an antivirus article I inevitably receive a reply from some smart-alec who claims that you don’t need an antivirus if you’re careful. Viruses come from infected files, right? So just don’t download them! You’ll be fine.

Well, actually, that tech myths couldn’t be more wrong. A decade and a half ago, most viruses were distributed through infected files, but they’ve become far more sophisticated since then. Worms, a specific class of virus, can infect any vulnerable computer through networking exploits. Other viruses spread using browser vulnerabilities. And still more are designed to spread via USB drives or local networks.

Clever users might respond by claiming people don’t have to worry if their software is up to date. This too is no guarantee. Zero-day exploits are common and even a patched system is a sitting duck. An antivirus may be able to stop such an attack (even though it’s unknown) by using heuristic detection to raise the alarm when a file behaves suspiciously. Those without antivirus, however, have no defense.

Cell Phones Cause Cancer

tech myths busted

Many consumer technologies rely on energy and therefor emit or use some form of radiation. Even radio waves are a form of radiation, and since cell phones use them, there’s been concern that having a source of radiation close to our heads could cause cancer. This has been backed up by an alarming report from the World Health Organization which labeled cell phones a “Class B Carcinogen”.

You’d expect that to be based on some fairly hefty evidence, right? Actually, the WHO report is less damning than it sounds in headlines. Class B simply means that a study has indicated that there might be a link, but the link is too weak to be definitive. Meanwhile, numerous other studies have found no link. This includes a massive Danish study involving 350,000 people that was released in late 2011.

Further evidence against the risk of cancer can be found in what we know of physics. Radiation comes in multiple forms, and humans only need to worry about radiation energetic enough to damage DNA. Ultraviolet rays from the sun, which can cause skin cancer, are over 400,000 times more energetic than those emitted from cell phones. Low energy waves like radio can’t hurt DNA, and that means they can’t cause cancer.

Everything Electronic Causes Cancer

tech myths

This means that what holds true for cell phones should hold true for other wireless devices, as well. The rise of wireless networks has caused distress about what all those waves bouncing through the atmosphere might do to our cells. The answer is simple – nothing.  Sleeping on a bed made of wireless routers would be uncomfortable, but it’s not going cause cancer.

Some users become concerned because of another alarming effect. Heat. As electronics are used, they put out heat, and that heat is absorbed by our bodies. That’s why your thighs are warm after using a laptop.

Computers can be harmful if they’re too hot, but the problem isn’t limited to electronics. Dermatologists have long known that constant exposure to heat can cause scaly, discolored skin which is often permanent. A hot computer can cause this – as can a heating blanket, seat warmer, fireplace or oven.

While skin discoloration and minor burns can be a problem to a handful of people, there’s no evidence that normal, intermediate use of a computer will cause cancer. The lesson from dermatology is simple. If something is hot, don’t hang around it too long.

Conclusion

This is merely a handful of tech myths. There are plenty more out there, ranging from the believable to the utterly outrageous. Have you heard a tech myth that you later found out wasn’t true? Tell us about it in the comments.

 

By Matt Smith makeuseof.com